Who’s beast?

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The Beast J.R. Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood #14

JR Ward’s sublime skills are on show again as she not only keeps this series going but makes it fresh, funny, new, compelling – urgh should I keep going?!  Quite simply I adore this series.

The Beast returns to book two and the story of Mary and Rhage.  Whilst most of us struggle to some extent with our inner demon, he is cursed to grapple with a real beast when he loses control.

Is Rhage’s purple scaly dragon his only beast?

For me this is the story of the inner beast, that demon that can roar in even the most seemingly gentle souls reigniting the issues buried inside.  JR Ward uses Rhage’s cursed dragon to shed light on the struggle with the inner beast.

Despite his deep love for Mary, the book opens with Rhage’s death wish. Why? Could it be that the couple’s infertility looms large?  He wants children when illness means Mary is infertile. Can he voice his needs and desires when he knows the pain it will cause? And should he? They are both aware that she doesn’t feel she lives up to his sheer beauty. Can she deal with his disappointment in her in this most female of ways?

Whilst, the beast is Rhage’s curse from the Scribe Virgin we see Mary’s own curse.  As she is immortal, she alone will choose her time to go into the Fade. Clearly, Rhage assumes and expects she’ll immediately follow him. But what if she has a pressing need, could and should she delay?  Can she confront the issue with Rhage?

How difficult must it be for both of them to see Layla pregnant with twins, knowing that she and Qhuinn don’t share a mate’s connection.

The demons facing the other characters we’re fascinating. As always JR Ward totally nails the cast of characters. This time Assail tries to steal the show, perhaps if Rhage wasn’t my all time fave he’d have done it.  What are the demons that drive him and have him imprisoned to his substance abuse?  Does he have the strength to confront his demons?

As the book draws to a close a new character who will no doubt have his own inflicted demons to deal with, brings up Zadist’s own demons. Does he have them under control? Can he control his own rage to offer support?  And can Assail use this abused male’s example to overcome?

All this, and we’ve yet to touch on Layla and how she’ll confront what she’s done.  And not to forget Havers, what set him on this path and can he be rehabilitated?  Does he even want to?

All kudos to Ms Ward, another fantastic book, she continues to add layer upon layer to a wonderfully rich and intricate story arc.  Yet, at its heart is the simplicity of love both romantic and through the various ways her characters have bonded.